Title: ELI student voices
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 Material Information
Title: ELI student voices
Series Title: ELI student voices
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: English Language Institute, University of Florida
Publisher: English Language Institute, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Summer 2005
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Bibliographic ID: UF00089997
Volume ID: VID00012
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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ELI STUDENT VOICES


Summer, 2005


Male and Female: Networking and
Communicating (1st Place)
Marta Elena Leal
RW 500

Let us try to imagine, as John Gray says, that "the men
are from Mars and the women from Venus" and on the basis of
it do you think really that we are different? Are these planets
really separated in this universe or it is merely a perception?
This statement is applied to all: chiefs, executive, managers,
consultants, networkers, assistants and secretaries.
Actually, many authors have written about men and
women in terms of biological, physical, psychological and
thinking styles of decision-making differences. Some have
mentioned for example that the anatomical and physiological
differences cause that the woman has some senses more
developed; for example, the hard trunk that connects both
cerebral hemispheres can be the double the width in the woman
than in the man. This is what determines in the woman a greater
capacity of relation between acts and feelings and diverse
elements in the same situation. Apparently, the ego of the
woman also is even necessary to understand this relation as "it
is precise to know itself to be more free and to communicate."
Several writers have shown how these differences can influence
their behaviors.
Thinking style is one of the main aspects influencing
men's and women's behaviors. Important journals have clearly
established that extreme thinking styles exist. And these are
defined as thinkers and feelers. Thinkers refer to men who are
rational, logic and dispassionate. They believe the universe is
governed by objective, consistent rules of cause and effect.
Rights and wrongs are absolute. Feelers refer to women who
have subjective and humanistic frame of reference. There are
not absolute rights and wrongs. They accept no rational
experiences without needing to know the specific cause for
those feelings.
Journals also infer that one person expressing a
tendency toward thinker or feeler style may be unaware that it is
in fact harmful. Thinking styles play an important role in the
world of connections. It's a potential source of problems
especially when men come to networking with women where
negotiation is important to get commitment results.
"Men are suchjerks when it comes to networking with
women," says a corporate attorney in Philadelphia who's now
job hunting. "Maybe I'm over-generalizing, but the fact remains
that my most unpleasant networking experiences have been in
meetings with men." Women job hunters frequently complain
that men are terrible networkers. They say networking with men
can be frustrating, demeaning and unproductive. These


problems often are described by women as MTS (male
testosterone syndrome) or FHS (female hypersensitive
syndrome). Women say that men use a conflict-based model;
men think they know everything; they lack sensitivity,
flexibility, sympathy, empathy and prefer to dominate. Men say
that women want every interaction to establish a warm bond
and be deeply meaningful. Many men assert that what the
women define as MTS is not related with a gender difference
and women feel dominated because the workplace is still male -
dominated.
Networking is a very important skill for job seekers
and headhunters. When people network, both parties need to
share some basic information and if they don't, the networking
will break down. Douglas Richardson, who heads The
Richardson Group, an executive coaching, career development
and personal effectiveness consulting firm in Narberth,
Pennsylvania and who is an authority on team and interpersonal
communications, states that "women are tired of being treated
like chopped liver." He says that men often dismiss, patronize
or compete with women and, on the other hand, women don't
usually have these kinds of problems when networking with
other women.
According to Deborah Tannen, intimacy is a needed
networking's attribute. She said "Intimacy is key in a world of
connection where individuals negotiate complex networks of
friendship, minimize differences, try to reach consensus and
avoid the appearance of superiority." Likewise, the psychologist
Carol Gilligan theorized a crucial difference between female
and male and is that men are motivated by hierarchy and status
while women form webs and find motivation in working within
the connections (it was mentioned by Mary Wise--UF
volleyball coach--during the 16th Annual Women's Leadership
Conference when she spoke of a different kind of network--the
web)
When women come into business networking, they
prefer to develop relationships in more intimate talks and then
get down to business, whereas men focus on business and may
never form personal bonds. Since women often are the primary
caregivers at home, it's also easier for them to fit in smaller
discussion groups that meet evenings or weekends. "What's
happening is that the traditional white-male style of networking
doesn't work for us, and we're carving out our own way of
connecting," says Julia Hubbell, a Denver-based speaker and
consultant on networking. Although women are welcome in
networking groups that include men, they often don't find the
personal connection they seek in those discussions, "they post a
question and someone gives the answer, period. Women do it
differently. Their posts are like literature. They talk about life
and non work stuff."


ELI Student Voices 1


Volume 9, Issue 2








Professional and executive women apply untraditional
and useful networking ways with each other:
Online groups: Members pay no charge to join and post daily
messages related to their professional and personal needs.
Typical messages include job postings or questions ranging
from how to fire a friend to finding lodging for a college
student in another city.
Book clubs: women can discuss new books, often about
women's career issues, with other professional women. Intimate
communications happen in a book club, because women are
talking about personal experiences. Do you imagine men
sharing as much?
Manicure sessions: "Even though women often will skip
business lunches, they'll make time for manicures with business
contacts during the lunch hour because they can network and
take care of personal needs," says Cynthia Tsai, chief executive
officer of New York-based Health Expo, a consumer health-
event company. Going to a salon is conducive to this because
"women in salons relax in a different way," says Ms. Tsai. "We
know business opportunities exist or we wouldn't be meeting,
but this gives us a chance to learn about each other as women."
Dinners: Professional women meet for dinner a day of each
month to discuss theirjobs and career issues. It also helps the
women feel less isolated from each other. I want to mention an
interesting example to explain it: while living in Spokane, a few
years ago, Ms. Hubbell formed a group to connect executive
and professional women who didn't know each other. Within
three years, it had grown to about 60 women between the ages
of 27 and 54 who attend one 90-minute lunch and one potluck
dinner each month to discuss careers and personal topics.
Hobby groups: Having common hobbies is also a networking
way. Rebecca Palm who is president of software company
Comtech Solutions Worldwide Inc. in Houston says "bonds
have been developed between the women in her neighborhood
who play Bunco, a parlor game for 12 players. You share
information and you end up making relationships that go in all
different directions."
Now, knowing the different forms in the ways men
and women communicate, it's thought that female and male
networking and communication differences can be solved or at
least minimized if we focus on three main goals every time we
communicate:
Goal oriented--get the job done.
A relational goal--avoiding damage to the relationships
between you and others because of your messages.
An identity management goal--your communication must be
aligned with the image that you want to project.
Women must ask questions without using negative
labels or denials, must be careful performing key questioning to
take the control and the questions should be done in a way that
they keep the control of the conversation and the most
important thing is women must follow the approach to ask
specific questions instead of general questions (named open-
ended questions). Also, women should transmit a certainty
posture, expressing complete sentences and avoiding
undercutting the verbal communication with no verbal actions
and likewise avoiding the use of question's intonations when
performing expositive declarations.


After this reviewing, we can conclude that:
--We are so different as if we came from different planets: the
men are from Mars and the women are from Venus. Without
the recognition of the differences, it would be hardly possible to
be given a step ahead in the communication between men and
women.
--When better including/understanding those differences,
instead of hitting, our worlds can be united with greater
harmony, cooperation and collaboration.
--These two planets have different values and sensitivities. For
that reason if we don't take the things in personal form and we
use this information to learn how to avoid bothering each other,
our relationships will be easier and more satisfactory.
--Attributes like intimacy determines the success of networking
in a world of connections.
--When knowing the different thinking styles between men and
women influencing networking and communications and by
looking for strategies and solutions as mentioned above to
improve these communications, an extra stimulus will have to
gain the respect, the support and the confidence that is
deserved.
--When the men and the women learn the mutual keys to gain
the respect and the confidence in their different worlds, the
doors of success, cooperation and collaboration will continue
opening themselves.


How Is This Semester?
Cheng-Kang Guan (Ken)
RW Hi-Intermediate 2


(2nd Place)


Time is speedily running out. Amazingly, now is
almost the ending of this semester. Many unforgettable events
happened in this semester, including making international
friends, participating in activities, learning English in the
classes, meeting with conversation partners, and moving into
houses.
I made enthusiastic friends who come from Venezuela,
polite friends who come from Korea, kind friends who come
from the Middle East, and vital friends who come from South
America. I realized that no matter which countries they are
from, if I treat them with sincerity, being friends with them is
very easy and comfortable. Furthermore, all the language
assistants are very patient and kind. We studied, played, ate,
and talked together, so I do not want to be separated from them.
I had no friends when I came here. Now, most of my friends
will leave me to realize their dreams. I hope we can keep our
friendship forever, and then maybe we will meet together again
in the near future.
Through playing Frisbee and soccer, joining coffee
talk, seeing the movies, and participating in the weekend
activities, I reduced my pressure and practiced my listening and
speaking skills. Moreover, I could learn some American culture.
The more activities I joined, the more questions I asked, then
the more English I understood. This sentence is my motto in the
ELI. On Volunteer Day, meeting many kinds of people and
working with them including cooking food and building houses
for homeless people, I gained extremely valuable experiences.


ELI Student Voices 2








For example, talking to native people without help is a very
good way to test my listening and speaking ability, especially
on the phone.
On the other side, reading/writing class and grammar
class were challenges for me. In the beginning of this semester I
almost could not understand even finish reading all the articles
which the teacher required us to read in the class. Though I can-
not finish reading articles very fast and understand the detail of
the articles now, at least I can finish reading those almost on
time and understand what the articles mean. I know my reading
skill is not good enough, so I keep reading more articles and
newspapers. I have no bravery to read my essays which I wrote
before the middle of this semester because there were more than
10 correcting marks in each paragraph and no sentences over
fifteen words. In the grammar class, even though I had heard
some grammar rules before the teacher taught in the class, I was
frequently confused about the rules which the teacher taught
until the exams were reviewed by my grammar teacher.
Meeting with conversation partners is one of my
favorite programs in the ELI. We can talk to one or more UF
students to practice English and exchange our different
experiences. They helped me a lot about how to live in
Gainesville. Even though some of them just wanted to get some
information from me to do research or homework, I still got
some chances to know what the UF students do in their
university life. Now, I, however, have a very kind conversation
partner whom I have never met before.
Finally, finding and moving into a house in Gainesville
is very complicated for me. In order to practice myself, I found
the apartment and negotiated with agents by myself. Even
though sometimes I requested they repeat what they said,
eventually I made a contract with one of the apartment
managers, and I read all content of the contract before I signed
up. I will move to another apartment soon, and I hope I can
move out smoothly.
Some of my experiences in this semester are good, and
some of them are not very good, but all of them are valuable
and marvelous. I hope all of the managers, employees, teachers,
language assistants, and students in ELI will not forget about
this semester.

Did Man Really Land on the Moon?
Jang Hoon Park (Chang)
R/WHigh Intermediate 2

At 10:56 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) on July 20,
1969, Neil A. Armstrong was ready to plant the first human foot
on another world. With more than half a billion people
watching on television, he climbed down the ladder and
proclaimed, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for
mankind." Most Americans were widely excited by the Stars
and Stripes fixed into the ground of the moon. About 20 years
later, however, Ralph Rene was swayed by some doubts while
watching the old scene: "How can the flag be fluttering?" The
47-year-old American kept asking himself how it could be
fluttering without wind in the free atmosphere. He began to
investigate the Apollo project with his friends, examining every


film, photo, and report NASA offered. And finally, they
reached a shocking conclusion: America had never put a man
on the moon. All Apollo projects were fake and fabricated.
First of all, as Rene mentioned before, the flag was
fluttering despite the fact that the moon has no atmosphere and
no air. Some people said Rene had to pay attention to the
flagstaff of the flag. They insisted that there should be one more
crossbar on the flag, and it should cause the fluttering. Of
course, if it were not for the "optional" crossbar, people
couldn't see the whole Star-Spangled Banner. However, the
fluttering didn't happen while the astronaut set up the flag. It
flapped constantly by itself even after finishing the setup. The
phenomenon never happens in no wind like the moon.
Second, there are some points of doubt in many
pictures. At that time, the only lighting on the moon was the
sun: no lighting on the spaceship "Apollo 11" or on the space
suits of the astronauts. Although there was the one lighting
source, shadows of the spaceship, the astronauts, and rocks on
the moon spread to the different directions in some pictures. In
addition to the shadows, there is one more problem in a picture
of one astronaut. It is a front view of the man with his back
against the sun. Shadows of the man and rock have no problem:
they were parallel to the front. However, a mask of the
astronaut is so clear in the picture like being in the spotlight or
flash. How could it happen though the sun was behind of him?
Of course, the sun was the only lighting.
Third, there is something questionable in the film
NASA offered to the public: the movement of the astronauts
and the lunar rover. They are nearly flying about because the
gravity of the moon is a sixth of the earth. It may look natural
under the circumstance. However, when the film is played at
double speed, the movement is exactly the same on the earth.
The scene of going up the space ship is more suspicious. When
it goes up, there are no exhausted fumes coming out the rocket
engine nozzle. It just pops up suddenly without any fumes; it
looks like it was jerked up by a cable! Practically, some film
directors say it could happen to make a fake film about a lunar
landing. Paul N. Lazarus, the director of the film "Capricorn
One (1978)" said that NASA could indeed invent the whole
film if they wanted. He thought it could be done in that time
because technology was developed enough. Actually, the scene
of the lunar landing in the film NASA offered was similar to
"Capricorn One"
In conclusion, there are some suspicious points about
the lunar landing. A lot of people are raising questions not
absurd, but scientific. They have enough persuasive power to
believe the landing is a fake. Their opinions are becoming more
logical. On the other hand, NASA has bypassed it for over 15
years. A spokesman of NASA said they didn't have to refute
those opinions. Before everything else, NASA should
investigate of the truth about the Apollo project. They have to
demonstrate all evidence of the landing not only for the
opponents, but humanity.


ELI Student Voices 3








About My Hometown
Martina Cheng
R/WLow-Intermediate

My hometown is Taichung. Taichung is the largest city
in central Taiwan. The city flower for Taichung is the
Christmas Kalanchoe, the city tree is the Palimara Alstonia,
and the city bird is the Little Equrt.
Taichung city is divided into eight districts. There is a
leader in each district with some 14,000 people.
Administrative officials all work together for the city
government. Taichung city was established 300 years ago. The
city is beautiful. The famous foods are pineapples and pearl
tea. The biggest department store in Asia is in Taichung so
many people go shopping on the weekend. The weather has
four seasons in my hometown. It usually is very hot. I like the
sunshine. When the weather is hot, we go to the beach and
BBQ.
In my hometown, people usually go to temples.
Their religion is Taoism. Sometimes, my mother and I go to
the temples. My younger sister still likes to go to the temples.
She thinks that if she prays, she will have a wonderful future.
She believes in fortune-tellers. But I don't believe in them.
There are many cultural facilities, buildings and temples in my
city. In the future, we hope that Taichung will become an
international city.

Why I Am Homesick
Jose J. Palacios
RW 300

At the moment I am far away from my home. Right
now I am living in Florida but only for a short time. I Love the
United States of America as much as I love Puerto Rico. The
people in Florida are nice, but my home and my family are in
Puerto Rico. I am homesick for three things: my wife, my
daughters/son and their families, and Puerto Rican food.
In Puerto Rican culture, family relationships are very
important. This custom is ingrained deep in my feelings. God
privileged me because I have a beautiful family. I have six
children. Five of them are female and the other is male. God
also privileged with my wife, Carmen. Carmen is a great
companion (partner). She is nice, a good mother, and a
beautiful woman. Soon, we will celebrate our 41st anniversary.
I have a lot of desire to see my grandchildren. I have
five grandchildren, two boys and three girls. My eldest
grandchild is Derrick; he is 13 years old. He is in the eighth
grade and plays basketball. The other boy's name is Jose Juan
and he is 9 years old. He is in the fourth grade and he plays
baseball. Jose is a very good player and he has been selected to
be on the all-star team representing his league in Puerto Rico
when they play in the United States of America and the
Dominican Republic. My three granddaughters are beautiful
and graceful little girls. They are very intelligent and have very
good grades in school. The eldest is Jaresky; she is 9 years old;
and Johanna and Jameris are 7 years old.


Besides missing my family, I miss the food. One of
the most important things to the Puerto Rican people is the
food. It is impossible for me to live without rice and beans for a
long time. The rice with chicken mixed together with fried
plantain chips and avocado is an extraordinary and unique
creole meal.
People that are as part of a culture appreciate their own
culture. That is my situation. Every day I count the days left to
return. Soon I will return to the Pearl of the Caribbean Sea!

Technology: Pros and Cons
Ki Yong Nam (Sam)
RW 300

Improvement of technology makes human-life-style
convenient. Human life has been changed by every
technological evolution from the Agricultural Age to the
Technology-intensive Age, and from the Technology-intensive
Age to the Knowledge-intensive Age. However, the progress of
industry does not mean progress of humanity because the more
technology grows, the more problems appear, simultaneously.
These are examples of cons and pros of technological progress:

1. The theory of relativity and the nuclear bomb.
2. Genetic engineering and bioethics.
3. The development of computer science and the isolation of
people.

First of all, the theory of relativity which was made by
Einstein affected modem physics. His theory, which is related
to nuclear fusion and fission, has influenced the development of
the atomic generation, but he didn't know that the theory would
mean the appearance of the nuclear bomb which is the most
horrible weapon since humans existed.
Second, the improvement of genetic engineering makes
medical science and life science improve. Various diseases
which did not have a cure, now can be treated. Many kinds of
genetically modified products could be developed. However,
many bioethicists warn about the danger of genetic engineering.
Also, the Papal Court warned about the possibility of human
cloning. Obviously, It is true that there are many problems in
genetic engineering.
Last, the development of computer science makes human
life convenient. E-mail, telecommuting, and
telecommunication, etc, and many kinds of the conveniences
were introduced. As a result, physical interchange between
people was reduced. The days that people had to stand in front
of the mailbox are gone. People are becoming individualistic
and isolated.
Every improvement of technology develops problems as
much as the technology makes progress. As much as people
enjoy the convenience of the technology, people need to be
responsible for the usage of technology. It is not important
whether the technology develops or not. The most important
thing is how to use technology. Sometimes, I think that the
people who lived in the Agricultural Age had happier lives than
the people who live in modem society. People have to


ELI Student Voices 4








remember that the keyword for a happy life is the human being,
not technology.

The Pros and Cons of Cars
Tomoko Gamada
RW300

In today's world almost all families have a car. I think
it is a wonderful technology. A lot of people expect cars to have
convenience and safety. However, there are disadvantages
along with benefits when we use cars everyday.
First, I tend to choose an easy way rather than a hard
way in my life everyday, but this isn't good for my health. For
example, I would exercise, if I took a bicycle to the supermarket
next to my apartment. However, I often use my car when I go to
buy foods for my family. The car is so convenient to carry a lot
of foods. Also, using a car is safer than walking the roads in the
USA. When I go to the bank or I go to a friend's house
somewhere, I think I need a car in my daily life. A car is
necessary for me in my life. But I don't walk a lot so I lose my
health day by day in the
USA.
Second, the car's user makes environmental pollution
when we use our car. Usually I use the freeway where there are
many cars and trucks every place I go. Many exhausts result in
pollution. It is an issue for allergic people. In return for
convenience, cars cause environmental pollution.
Third, I have to pay a lot of money to keep the car in
order. And we pay automobile insurance, state taxes, repair fees
and gas fees. We keep our car in good condition always in order
so it runs efficiently every day. If I take care of my car, I can
use it conveniently from my garage to go where I want to go.
Technology is good for me but it is bad for me. I keep
in mind that convenience and efficiency are very important on
busy days but, like the car, technology has bad aspects also.

Change Your Mind About Swimming
Jong Beom Kim
RW Low-Intermediate

Many people tell me "I can't swim", "I didn't ever
learn to swim", "I'm scared of deep water". When I hear this I
say to them "If you want to swim in the water you are going to
drown yourself!" What I mean is, if you head into the water
your body will float to the surface but if you try to lift your
head out of the water your body will go under! Don't worry!
We lived in water in our mother's bodies. Your body
remembers that and it knows lo"\ to swim". Swimming is
very natural. If you know how to stay on the surface you can
move in the water very easily. Just kick on the water and move
your arms in a stroke. When your body is on the surface think
"My body is like a tree so I must float on the water." And the
legs and feet just kick. Maybe you can move your feet too.
This is swimming. Remember-relax!


Homesickness: A Strength or a Weakness
.\u-.Nhing Hwang (Connie)
RW300

Leaving my family was not easy because my parents
always think I am the little baby, even though I am thirty-two
years old. Studying is the most important goal for me at this
time in my life. I made a choice to come to America. When I
arrived here to study at the ELI, I thought that studying was
difficult. I must speak English, listen to English, and write in
English everywhere and everyday. I get sad and miss my
parents, my sister, my friends, and my country. Although life in
America is not easy, I decided to keep my power and my
energy.
First, when I get sad, my younger brother, Ben, can
help me. My brother has lived here two years and he always
gives me some suggestions. I didn't feel lonely at all. Ben
taught me how to speak English, how to ride to school, how to
find the help I need. He always stands by me.
When I was homesick for several weeks, I had to
choose to change my mind. Suddenly I went outside and walked
around Lake Alice. I forgot homesickness, I just exercised and
got a healthy body. My friend, Julie, always calls me and we
talk about my habits, homework, cooking, etc. I wasn't lonely.
When I passed the driver's license exam, the officer was
happier than I was.
Finally, I decided to stay here and study here next
semester. I want to be a good English speaker -- that is a goal I
have never thought about. It is a great chance to change my life.
I'm not sure what I can give, but homesickness has brought me
not only sadness but also strength. Now I enjoy my life in
America and have a positive attitude. I have the new attitude
thanks to my homesickness.

Immigration
Jorge Malo
R/W Low-Intermediate

There are many motivations for immigration. First,
Economic Opportunities. People leave their countries to find
great jobs. There is a lot of unemployment in their countries and
the salary is too low. They look for hope in other countries.
They want to change their lifestyles. They describe these
countries as "The Land of Opportunity". However there are
many employers who treat their immigrant employees badly.
They treat their immigrant employees as slaves and they don't
respect the human rights. The governments should punish them.
The immigrants have dreams but they don't always come true.
Second, Freedom of Religion. People leave their
countries because they can't practice their religion. They don't
have religious freedom so they look for religious freedom in
other countries.
Third, Democracy. People leave their countries
because they disagree with their Governments Policies. They
can't say their opinions to the Government. If they said their
opinions, the government would punish them. They have to


ELI Student Voices 5








look for asylum in other countries if they say their opinions to
the government.
Finally, A Safe Place. People leave their countries
because of Natural Catastrophes like earthquakes, tidal waves,
etc. They look for shelter in other countries.
In conclusion, it is difficult for immigrants to move to
a new country. It could have serious consequences. There are
many people who try to immigrate illegally. Many people take
advantage of them like smugglers who trick them. Many
immigrants die because of this reason. They look for hope but
sometimes they find death.

My Horses
Camilo Jimenez-Castillo
RW Low-Intermediate

My horses' names are "Comandante" and "Principe de
la Ribera". In English they mean "Commander" and "Prince of
the Shore".
I love my horses because I have had these horses since
they were born. First I'd like talk about Commander. He is a
black horse and five years old. He is a paso fino horse. I love
him because he is very noble and loyal. I love to ride my horses
because they are very elegant when they walk. Principe is
younger and more wild than Commander. He is two years old
but I think in the future he will be a better horse than
Commander.
In the horse world, breeding is very important because
among pure-breed fathers you have better blood. Principe is
better than Comandante because his father is one of the most
famous paso fino horses in the world.
In my country, Colombia, people care a lot about
horses. I live in my town where people love horses. Four or five
times a year in my town the people have a festival called
"Cabalgata". Cabalgata is when the people ride the horses in the
streets and wander through the town.
I love my country Colombia and my horses
Comandante and Principe.

The Volunteer Day
Cheng-Kang Guan (Ken)
RW Hi-Intermediate 2

I went to St. Francis House to help prepare and serve
food for homeless people on this Friday. Actually, this was my
second time going there because I had a good experience the
first time. This time, some of my experiences which made me
feel sad and angry at that moment changed my attitude of life a
little bit.
When first time I went to St. Francis House to help
homeless people, I just prepared and organized the food in the
food store. For the reason that I had been the United States for 1
month, I felt my English listening ability was not good enough
to solve and answer the questions which the homeless people
asked. Besides, not only ELI students but also UF students
participated in this volunteer activity, so I could practice my


English with UF students. Talking to UF students is easer than
talking to homeless people for me, because I could not
understand many of the accents that came from homeless
people. Overall, I had a good time with UF and ELI students
and cooks in St. Francis House.
However, until the weekend, I had been here for four
months. In order to test my listening ability in English, I
encouraged myself to stand at the food bar. Some of the
homeless people are very kind, and some of them are funny, so
I was interested in this volunteer day for the most part.
Although most of them are friendly, few of them could not
control their mood very well. For example, one of them
requested me to give him double amount of meat, I told him, "I
am sorry, the Ward who is the chef in St. Francis House told us
that I could not serve the food over standard." He was very
angry, and spoke a lot of "informal words". Actually, I was not
angry but sad, because if I gave him the extra food, the food
might be not enough to give others, even though I really wanted
to give him. At that time, I told myself that if I wanted to give
them enough food, first I needed to have enough ability to feed
and support myself.
For another instance, one of them requested me to give
her the salt; nevertheless, I could not give her, because the chef
also told me that we did not have enough seasoning, so all the
seasonings in kitchen were just used in cooking. Even though I
thought this was a reasonable request, I could not satisfy her.
After beseeching several times, she insulted to me not only with
"informal words," but also race and country segregation. Before
this weekend sometimes I only felt maybe some of the
Americans I met had race segregation, but this was my first
time to hear the complaint about segregation, after I came here.
At the moment, I thought maybe the Emancipation
Proclamation just focused between white and black people,
excluding other color people, and maybe the Constitution and
Declaration of Independence just protected American except the
people who live in America. I was extremely angry, but I still
told her I was sorry about that because I could not make this
decision.
Now, I feel I was wrong. I should not have been angry,
because she said those words just because of her transient
temper. I think if I requested the waiter to give me salt in a
restaurant, but the waiter would not gave me, my temper might
be the same as her at that moment. No matter what she or he
who requested me to give them something in St. Francis said at
that time, I am very happy now, because I got the new
motivation to push my studying and knew how to control my
emotion from this experience.

My Family is Interesting
Hee Young Yang
R/W Low-Intermediate

I have three people in my family. My wife is forty-
nine years old and my daughter is twenty years old. My wife
stays at home and my daughter goes to Santa Fe College.


ELI Student Voices 6








Sometimes I want to go play golf but my wife and
daughter wants to take a walk in the park. So, we are fighting
because we have different thoughts and schedules.
My wife likes a computer game called "go-stop" which
is like American playing cards. My daughter likes computer
games too.
We have one computer on the desk at home. Everyday
we are fighting about who can use it. Every time I see the
computer, I think of my family.
I love my wife and daughter and I'm happy even
though we disagree sometimes.


In R/W 500 we explored the psychological differences
between men and women. Here is a partial list of the
articles and essays we read to use as sources for the
student essays that follow.

REFERENCES
Men, women find their ways differently. The Gainesville Sun,
p. 6. (2000, March 21).

Bebbington, P. (1996). The origins of sex differences in
depressive disorder: bridging the gap. International Review of
Psychiatry 8(4):295-332.

Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1987) Sex differences in unipolar
depression: evidence and theory. Psvchol Bull 101(2):259-282.

York, F. Gender differences are real. Medical Issues National
Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
Retrieved from the World Wide Web: hIp "\ ".narth.com.

Vanfossen, B. Gender differences in communication.
ITROW's Women and Expresion Conference. Retrieved from
the World Wide Web:
http://pages.twoson.edu/itrow/wmcomm.htm.

Swirko, C. (2003, February 10). Creating connections: Women
leaders learn power of networking at conference at UF. The
Gainesville Sun. p. 2.

Tanner, L. Men listen with half of brain--study. Retrieved
from the World Wide Web: http://www.skfriends.com/men-
listen-half-brain.

News flash--men do hear--but differently. Retrieved from the
World Wide Web: http://www. skfriends.com/men-listen-half-
brain.

Recer, P. (2002, July 23). Study: women have better memory
for emotional events. The Gainesville Sun, p. 6.

Tannen, D. (1990). Sex, lies and conversation. Washington
Post.


Tannen, D. Intimacy and Independence. You Just Don't
Understand.

Stacy, M. (2000, September 18). Shopping too tough for men.
The Gainesville Sun, p 6A.

Swimsuits affect math ability. The Gainesville Sun. (1998,
October 23). p. 5A.

Sachs, M. A. Male/female communication styles. Ohio State
University Extension Fact Sheet HYG-5280-95.

Men reveal shopping strategies. The Alligator. (2002,
December 11). p. 19.

New study: Men react to beauty, food same. The Gainesville
Sun. (2002, November 10). p. 8A.

Men value love later in life. The Gainesville Sun. (2003,
January 22). p. 5A.

Recer, P. (2002, July 23). Study: Women have better memory
for emotional events. The Gainesville Sun. p. 5A

Thinkers vs. Feelers. Retrieved from the World Wide Web:
http://www.uliveandleam.com.

Stanton, A. Men and women in conversation--Finding a way to
bridge the gap. Retrieved from the World Wide Web:
http://www.healthandage.com.

Men, women, and the Internet: Gender differences. Retrieved
from the World Wide Web:
http://www.netaddiction.com/gender.htm.

Allan, V. (2003, October 12). A sting in the retail. Sunday
Herald. p. 6B.

Financial practicality vs. risk: the battle of the sexes continues.
Retrieved from the World Wide Web:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2001

Bridging the communications gap. Retrieved from the World
Wide Web: http://www.usheroff.com/news/article7.html

The Psychological Differences between
Males and Females
Jaewon Seo
R/W500

Women who are goal-oriented, like a challenge, and
are adventurous like the cowgirl or the earth mother. A man
who shares his emotions with his partner and can dress up well
like the metrosexual. What do you think about these people?
Maybe most of you think that they are cool because we live in
the society that considers people who have both male and
female characteristics bright and smart. Today, people tend to


ELI Student Voices 7








regard this type of person, called a psychological bigender or an
androgynous person, as an ideal model. I think the fact that
people assume to have both genders' characteristics means that
they've already recognized the differences between men and
women. How can we explain this situation if there are not any
differences between genders? We can easily find many
differences between men and women in articles, journals,
research, and our own experiences beyond our expectations.
"Though all humans need both intimacy and
independence, women tend to focus on the first and men on the
second," said Tannen, who is a famous sociolinguist. Women
want to discuss issues with their partner when they make a
decision. If their partner makes a plan without any discussing,
they must be upset. According to Tannen, women assume "the
spouse discusses their plans with each other because their lives
are intertwined." It means that women respect others' opinion
as their own. On the other hand, men take care of their own
business without discussing with their partner. If they have to
make a decision by discussing with someone, they feel that they
are dependent and even ashamed. It is caused by the fact that
man wants to show himself a strong and self-supporting person.
Also, we can find a difference between males and
females in the spouse selection. Through "The perfect spouse
survey," conducted by Stephen W. Flocks, who teaches at
University of Florida English Language Institute, we can figure
out that ideal spouse models are different between both sexes.
Most men think that their wives must be attractive while
women think that trust and reliability are the most important
things to choose their husbands. It shows men and women have
a different way of thinking. In men's case, thinking that
attraction is the most important thing means that they focus on
women's appearances and are sensitive to what is visible. On
the other hand, women think what is inside men is more
important than their appearances.
It is also a good way to figure out gender differences
through a different attitude about shopping. Here is a related
joke, "A successful man is one who makes more money than
his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find
such a man" (http://www.1-famous-quotes.com). It shows
women are partial to shopping, with, according to Stacy,
"Women generally being more experienced and comfortable
with shopping" (2000, p. 3A). How about men? They feel
stress when they're shopping. I can find men sitting on the
chair and taking a rest in the department store very often while
their wives were enjoying shopping.
For now, we figure out the differences between men
and women in the three views that are making a decision,
spouse selection, and attitude about shopping. Based on some
articles, we can conclude that men focus on independence, think
appearance is the most important thing in spouse selection, and
feel stress while shopping. Also, we can understand that
women assume intimacy, value what's inside of men when they
choose husbands, and feel comfortable when they're shopping.
Like this, there are apparent psychological differences between
males and females based on scientific evidence.


Psychological Differences Between Males
and Females
Alejandro Veldsquez
RW 500

It used to be easier to recognize and differentiate a man
and a woman. Nowadays the society has changed a lot and the
roles and the way men and women dress are very alike.
However, not a long time ago if you were walking down the
street and you saw a person wearing a skirt, with long hair it
would probably be a woman and if you saw a big, strong
looking person wearing a t-shirt and a cap it would probably be
a man. In the 21st century you don't know that for sure
anymore; you can see strange things these days. There are
women that look stronger than any men, and there are men that
want to have a female look. You can be tricked only by seeing
them wearing something; they can disguise so well that you
won't now which sex this person is, but if you see them naked
you will immediately notice huge differences. It is obvious that
men and women are physically and biologically different. The
psychological differences could be connected in certain ways to
the physical differences. Moreover, the physical differences
could be a cause for the psychological differences. Men and
also women are so interested in their psychological differences,
that this field has become very popular among the scientific
community. Although men and women share a lot of physical
and psychological characteristics, researchers and scientists
around the world have conducted many experiments to find out
why the differences in psychological aspects are so big. They
have found that both sexes have different ways to communicate,
navigate and women have better emotional memory skills.
Life has become easier with the technological
advances that have been made during history. It is amazing how
dramatically people's lives have changed since we first got
down from the trees and got together forming groups. In those
days it was not so easy for the human societies or groups to find
food to feed their children and of course their own selves. There
were no industrialized farms or big food factories producers.
There were of course no supermarkets or any place where you
can buy food. In the past people had to go hunting. The physical
differences between men and women were the factor that
decided who were the ones better suited for hunting. Research
has shown that men are better than women at finding their way
to unknown places; they even navigate using different strategies
and sides of the brain. The brain is composed basically of two
big sides that work differently and are used for different skills.
Usually the right side of the brain is associated with the
imagination and artistic issues, and the left side is generally
associated with the rational things, such as geometry and
languages. Both sides of the brain are used while men
navigating; on the other hand women only use one side, the
right one. Women tend to navigate using landmarks, while men
usually do it with directions and geometry. The fact that men
had to go hunting to find the food for the family gives us an
idea of how were these psychological differences developed.
While men were hunting, women had to stay in the village or
home with the children and the other women. There were not


ELI Student Voices 8








many activities to do in those times. Speaking must have been a
common one among the women; they didn't have much to do
but talking and taking care of the children. On the other hand
men went far away from home to find food; this implies that
they had to find their way home, so they developed the ability
to navigate. While hunting they couldn't talk too much because
the animals would run away if they heard a sound. It must have
been a quiet activity, talking only when necessary or to plan the
strategy. These big differences in every day activities between
our primitives help men and women in developing different
skills in certain activities such as navigating and
communicating. We usually hear from our female partner, "Are
you listening to me?" and it's normal to see a woman asking
for directions seeming lost. Men mostly always try to find the
way on their own.

Male and Female Psychological Difference
Chih-wei Liao (Bird)
RW 500

There are two kinds of humans according to gender in
the world: Male and Female. Beside physiological structure,
the psychological differences between male and female have
always been popular arguments since a long time ago. What
are obvious psychological differences between male and
female? According to many scientific reports, the most
powerful evidences are shopping behavior, the usage of the
Internet, and the methods of finding their ways respectively.
In general, women more enjoy the feeling of shopping
than men. "Male stress levels skyrocket when faced with noisy,
crowded stores, choosing gifts and standing in check-out lines,"
David Lewis, a psychologist, said. Thus, men often think that
shopping is a kind of load, because occasions of shopping
always are under these conditions that make men stressful. On
the contrary, according to Lewis, who is writing a book about
consumer shopping habits aimed at retailers, "Women are
usually more experienced in shopping." Therefore, women
seem to be more comfortable with shopping.
Furthermore, due to the spreading of the Internet, it
provides different ways of making friends and recreation from
the past time. Gender influences the types of internet-
applications. "In most cases, men always focus on interactive
on-line games and Cybersex. However, women prefer
anonymous communication with other people and hiding their
appearance" (www.netaddiction.com). Traditionally, men
present perfect to dominate everything. Thus, when men play
interactive games, they feel to control characters on on-line
games. In this condition, they gain the feeling of dominance. In
addition, Cybersex is another area men seemed more attracted
to than women. By chat areas that exist on-line, the
development of virtual social interaction allows people to
converse with another person about a variety of topics.
Therefore, men can say things that they never do or say with
their wives. However, women usually emphasize on
anonymous communication with other people and hide their
appearance. The reasons are that women just want to exchange


their feelings with other people, and do not want to be criticized
about their body when they are face to face with men.
Finally, there is still an obvious difference between
men and women. "Men are generally better than women at
finding their way in unfamiliar settings," "women rely mostly
on landmarks to navigate" ("Turn right at the drugstore, then
left at the grocery"), "while men lean toward using geometry, as
one would figure from a map" ("The museum should be over
that way")-The Gainesville Sun, 03/21/200, p.6. In my personal
opinion, I totally support this expression. Whenever I make
appointments with female friends, they always ask me if there is
any obvious landmark near destination. However, if I invite
male friends to eat dinner in a restaurant together, they always
say: "OK, give me the address of this restaurant." This
difference mainly is reflected from using the different parts in
their brains when men and women deal with space information.
"According to Riepe's study, "Both sexed used the right
hippocampus in negotiating the maze, but only men used the
left hippocampus. Conversely, women used an outer part of the
brain called the right prefrontal cortex, while men in the study
didn't." Thus, this study might reflect differences that men and
women handle information about the space around them.
The misunderstanding between men and women often
is due to the fact that they don't know the differences each other
exactly. Thus, the above-mentioned differences: shopping
behavior, usage of Internet, and the methods of finding their
way, between men and women may let people understand the
thoughts of the opposite sex and promote harmonious
relationship between male and female.

How Different We Are!
Hyoung Jun Park (Jimmy)
R/W500

Have you experienced a quarrel with your
girl/boyfriend or wife/husband? If the answer is a strong yes,
you must be very familiar with these words, "You don't
understand me!" no matter who cried out. Yes, both of you
don't understand each other. That's not your faults but your
genes' faults. "Men's and women's values are inherently
different," said John Gray, author of the bestseller Men Are
From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Among numerous
differences, navigation, the way of mating and common
interests are obviously discrete.
When my wife and I try to go to a new restaurant, I
drive. When we visit a city for the first time, I drive. That's not
because my driving skill is better than hers but because my
navigation skill is better than hers. It might not be surprising to
you that men are usually better at finding a new place on a map
than women are because it's well known through ordinary
experiences. In 2000, a German research team led by Dr.
Matthias Riepe of the University of Ulm found out that men and
women use different parts of the brain in navigation. They
explain the reason why men are usually a better navigator with
obvious evidence that men use more parts of the brain than
women do. We don't know what those parts of the brain only
men use do exactly; however, that tells us men and women


ELI Student Voices 9








manage differently the same given information like address and
direction. A long time ago, men went out far from home to hunt
animals while women kept to their home. This fact must have
helped men have better understandings in route.
Ask your partner the reason why she/he decided on
you rather than other candidates. If she/he answers honestly,
you might be shocked that you are chosen for such different
reasons from yours. According to a survey in the ELI at the
University of Florida, 2005, men prefer healthy, attractive
women rather than smart ladies while women prefer intelligent,
responsible men rather than good-looking guys. The
respondents were asked to select the top 3 characteristics that
they want in their spouse among health, understanding,
intelligence, loyalty, etc. This survey shows how differently
men and women select their mates. Excellent wives that men
want are healthy enough to give as many births as possible and
bring them up. Women expect husbands to be able to afford his
family with sufficient food and to be back in order to earn food
again and again.
Do you like to join the conversation in your partner's
party? Although your answer is yes, that may be because you
are close to your partner's friends but not because you really
enjoy that conversation itself. The interests of men and women
are so different that you often don't want to be involved your
partner's conversation. The same survey that was performed in
the ELI at the University of Florida shows that women's main
topics are shopping, children and emotion; conversely, men's
are sports, girls and social issues. The respondents are asked to
give the most frequent three topics in the conversation. This
distinction sometimes causes a small defect to expand to a
crevasse. We can guess this difference also comes from the
ancient time when men were responsible for all the exterior
things to the home and women are responsible for all the
interior things.
Men had chased food and come back for over
hundreds of thousands of years. Women had reserved home and
raised offspring for over hundreds of thousands of years. And
society and male/female roles have abruptly changed in the past
just a few hundreds of years. How could we break through this
difference in this short period? After all, we should admit that
men and women are totally unlike creatures in many aspects
including navigation ability, ruler in mating and interests.
Although you know she/he is different from you, you'll
definitely continue colliding with your partner. But if you don't
wish to lose your love, you should keep in mind that your
partner aims in a different direction than you from the same
standing position and try to bridge the gap through consistent
conversation. It's our destiny given by the Nature to be
harmonious.

Comments About Men And Women
Differences
Maria del Carmen Curatolo
RW 500

In a world where everything is different and relative,
differences between men and women cannot be the exception.


Since men and women were created many questions have come
to our minds and only few questions have been answered. Keep
in mind that maybe most of the questions will not have a final
answer. However, our life in common makes us to find the field
where men and women, males and females can be similar.
There are thousands of topics about men and women such as
personalities, behaviors, styles, psychology, and more that we
would like to explore. Between men and women everything is
possible, since our differences put us on different sides of the
net.
More than once women have asked themselves why
men do not listen. The answer can be found in the anatomy
field, "Men listen with half of brain" according to Dr. Joseph T.
Lurito (Tanner, AP Medical Writer, 2003, p. 1-3). The study
showed that when men listen only their left side of the brain
works, while in women both sides of their brain work. The
experiment does not conclude that "women are better listeners,"
it only says that the brain in men and women work differently.
How many times have you asked your husband to go
shopping? What a waste of time, right? Women are in trouble
here, because for men shopping is a stressful challenge. A
newspaper article written by Mitch Stacy (The Gainesville Sun,
September 16, 2000, p.3A) suggests that men cannot deal "with
noisy, crowded stores, choosing gifts and standing in check-out
lines." This is the result of an experiment performed by
psychologist David Lewis, who enlisted some volunteers to go
shopping and noted that men's heart and blood pressure
changed while women did not have considerable variations. The
explanation for these changes is that men do not like "domestic
shopping" but they like to shop for things that are considered
"toys for boys."
Sometimes we find some little differences, like the
way how men and women get to certain places. Dr. Matthias
Reipe of the University of Ulm in Germany found that both
sexes use different ways to navigate. Men follow directions like
in a map and women follow landmarks. This is a very
interesting point because as a result of this dissimilarity to get
somewhere can be a big deal. Another finding was that men do
not like to ask for directions; unfortunately, the study does not
mention anything else about this topic. From my personal
experience, I can assume that men seem to feel weakness. I
cannot see anything wrong asking for directions or landmarks.
Nevertheless, for men this situation is embarrassing. Maybe it is
related to the "macho" that they have inside.
"Intimacy and independency" are other conflictive
differences that seems to be important between couples as
Deborah Tannen mentions in her book You just don't
understand. Her research on Americans showed that men make
their own plans without discussing them with their partners.
The study also said that men feel that if they ask for permission
they lose their independence. For women it is completely
normal checking with their partners before a final decision. This
tiny difference can create conflicts in the relationship. Men do
not consult things or issues that they think are not a big deal.
Women do. They tend to be more conservative and discuss
more about everything because the meaning of "couple"
suggests working together and companionship.


ELI Student Voices 10








Talking about love, things are not much different.
There are some aptitudes that women do not understand, like
men's ideas about love and romance. A survey followed
through by John Gottman, professor of the University of
Washington, showed that for men love is more important when
they get old. Men think more about love later in life, because
they think it is the time to take care of the family. Women think
the opposite. They think that while they were young they gave
everything for their family and husbands; when they are older
they think that it is time to achieve their own goals and personal
dreams. Women later in life want to do all that they couldn't do
because family and husbands were first. This
miscommunication implies serious problems. Men want to
come back to the home and its intimacy and women want to get
out of the house and discover the entire world.
Do not forget men's ideas about romance. Men do not
think about flowers, sunsets, a romantic dinner, or a nice walk.
They think about the best way to get what they want: Sex.
There is a newspaper article written by Time Utton (November
14, 2003. news.com.au), which explains how men and women
think differently about romance. For men romance "causes
sexual thoughts" while for women romance "causes different
feelings." Perhaps the difference about romance is related to
thinking styles that men and women have. "Thinkers and
Feelers" is the name of an article that mentions that men think
more because they are rational, logic, impassionate; whereas
women feel more because they are emotional, not radical, and
do not need physical results.
The manner how men and women communicate with
each other has been the subject of many surveys and the main
topic of many books. There is a very famous book named Men
are from Mars, Women are from Venus, by John Gray, Ph.D.
NY: Harper Collins, 1992. The writer trie to explain
"differences in values, stresses, motivation, intimacy, emotions,
conflict management, feelings, showing appreciation, and
support systems as contributing factors in communication
conflicts." John Gray also gives advice on how to avoid or face
those differences in order to have a pleasant life as a couple.
Since our primitive times, men and women have been
different because their environment and activities were
different. For some unknown reason men decided to go out of
the "cave" and produce goods for the family. On the other hand,
women decided to stay inside of the "cave" and take care of the
family making their home a comfortable place.
Goals, feelings, thoughts, points of view make
differences in men and women's lives. To survive,
communication and balance are the only ways to solve all
uncomfortable situations that make our lives difficult.
Communication does not mean just to talk about the issue; it
also means to try to understand each other. Men and women
even though both use different parts of their brains, should try
to listen and not just hear each other. In the same way, men and
women should try to think and feel at the same time. Between
men and women cannot be more or less power because neither
men nor women are superior. Balance is the equilibrium for all
good formulas. Men and women are the best formula; they were
created with only duty to be a complement. They both fix each


other. Men and women are like concave-convex with all their
differences and similarities.

Differences Between Female and Male
Noemi Guindin
RW 500

Are men and women different? Many people think that
there are not differences between genders. The difference
between men and women is the result of the society dominated
by males. They are different anatomically but they are not
different in other ways. "To say that men and women are the
same is to deny physical reality," said Frank York in the article
"Gender Differences Are Real". The scientific evidence shows
that men and women are different in many ways. For example,
men and women find their ways differently, use different parts
of the brain for activities and have different emotional memory.
Many researchers studied sex difference in problem
solving. Studies showed that men tend to perform better than
women on certain spatial task. In tests that require manipulation
of images or objects, men do better than women. Men show
more accuracy in mathematical reasoning than women do. One
study found that men completed a maze or labyrinth task more
quickly than women did. In an experiment, in which brains
were scanned to find difference between sexes, results showed
that male and female use different parts of the brain for
navigation. Both sexes used the right hippocampus but men
used the left hippocampus too (Men, women find their ways
differently). Another study was developed using a path on a
counter tabletop map in order to measure route learning
between males and females. The study results showed that
women remember more of the landmarks, such as pictures of
different types of building, than men did. Results showed that
males and females have different ways to navigate possibly due
to different part of brain use.
Another difference between males and females is the
use of different parts of the brain to listen. A study conducted in
the school of medicine at Indiana University shows that women
use both sides of the brain, even though men use only the left
side of the brain. The researchers scanned the brain using
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) during a
lecture. The results showed that women increased blood flow in
both temporal lobes while men only in the left side (Men Listen
With Half of Brain). This research showed that men and women
use different parts of the brain for the same activity.
Because several studies showed that men and women
use different parts of the brain to develop specific tasks,
differences in verbal and emotional skills are referred to.
Michael Gurian argued in his book "What Could He Be
Thinking" many structural differences between men and
women. Michael Gurian, a social philosopher, therapist and
author of many books, said, "Men, because we tend to
compartmentalize our communication into a smaller part of the
brain, we tend to be better at getting right to the issue; the more
female brain (will) gather a lot of material, gather a lot of
information, feel a lot, hear a lot, sense a lot." He said "that
males have more activity in the mechanical centers of the brain,


ELI Student Voices 11








while females have more activity in centers of the brain
dedicated to verbal communication and emotion." One of these
arguments, which was related to verbal skills, was tested in
several studies and showed that women have better
performance on tests that requires the person to find words that
begin with a specific letter or some other constraint. Another
difference between men and women was the women's abilities
for remembering patterns or things. This women's ability is
maybe the reason for higher rates in clinical depression. Studies
report that women have a prevalence rate for depression up to
twice that of men (Bebbington, 1996; Nolen-Hoeksema, 1987).
Studies suggest that it was caused by the difference in the
emotional memory between men and women. Women had a
good memory to remember highly emotional things better than
men did. Women can't forget highly emotional events in their
lives.
I conclude that differences between genders are not the
result of the society. A lot of scientific evidence shows that
men and women are different in many ways. Researchers are
studying differences in order to explain clinical issues. A long
history of studying will continue over the next decades to
explain why certain abilities are developed on one side of the
brain more than the other.

Is There a Difference Between Men and
Women in the Access to Managerial
Positions?
Evelio Hernandez
R/W500

According to Fortune Magazine a recent survey
revealed that 10% of the top 500 companies have women
holding at least one-quarter of their corporate officer positions.
This percentage rose from only 5% in 1995. According to this
survey, women's overall share of management positions rarely
exceeds 10 per cent. The higher the position, the more glaring
the gender gap. In the largest and most powerful organizations
the proportion of top positions going to women is generally 2 to
3 per cent. Why do women find it difficult to get access to
managerial positions? The term "glass ceiling" was coined in
the 1970s in the United States to describe the invisible artificial
barriers for women in managerial positions; they can see the
top, but never will reach it.
The debate on the intellectual differences between men
and women has served historically to base the inequality
between both and the discrimination of women.
To deny the existence of differences between both sexes seems
a thesis so difficult to maintain as the opposite, which
commonly uses such differences to base the masculine
superiority.
That answer has its origins in historical facts. In the
past women did not show interest in school, because they were
taught by their mothers to be homemakers (raise the children,
cook, clean the house, take care of husband, etc). Throughout
the years women have always been the ones who take care of
the home, and the men provide the finances and the security.


Since the 1970's women have shown more interest in school
and are now competing with men on almost every plane. They
are leaving their homes to attend universities and develop their
professional skills. In the fields of business administration, law,
and medicine women have been in a majority for several years.
But the question remains, if so many women are graduating
from business school why don't they occupy the top positions
in the labor market?
Today some of the most frequent obstacles that women
confront include competition; men have more power and status
than women do. In our society men are on the top of society and
therefore must make efforts to secure their position. Other
obstacle's for women are family obligations (getting married,
having children, wanting to spend more time with family). This
is an important issue that blocked women from getting access to
high levels in the business organization. Top executives work
more than 50 hours a week and many women are not prepared
to sacrifice their families for theirjobs this activity would be
incompatible with CEO behavior in the field of work.
A research developed in Sweden showed that almost all the
male executives are married and have more children than the
female executives. Female executives don't have equal
opportunities and access of assistance than men because men
always are involved in theirjobs 100%. It is uncommon see
men with part times jobs and doing the dirty work in house.
This means that women have to trade with their husband on
who would be in charge of the home and the children.
Many people feel that we are already living in a
society where gender equality prevails, where competent
women have the same career opportunities as men. Those who
believe in this myth, however, are ignoring all the studies that
show how women and men do not enjoy the same opportunities
or conditions in working world. Women still have most of the
responsibility for the home and family. More work in the home
means less opportunity for work outside the home (workplace).
Do we want to see more women at the top? Americans
have been building this path in many ways. For example in the
field of business one of the most successful CEO's is Curly
Fioriona who has run Hewlett Packard Corporation since 2000.
In the political field Hilary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice
represent for many Americans an icon of the power of women
in the political arena and perhaps one of them will be the next
president of the United States.


ELI Student Voices 12








Thanks from the Editor
Thank you students for sharing your writing with everyone. I
hope you enjoy reading your fellow students' essays and
paragraphs. Also thanks to Megan Forbes and the HUB for
arranging the gift certificates, to Todd Allen for publicizing this
issue of Student Voices, to the Reading/Writing instructors for
supporting their students in their writing, and to Karen Eberly,
Chris Sabatelli, and Todd Allen for reading and evaluating the
entries.
Thanks everyone! Steve Flocks







English Language Institute
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315 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7051, USA
Phone: (352) 392-3354
Fax: (352) 392-3744
Email: StudyEnglish@eli.ufl.edu
Webpage: www.eli.ufl.edu


ELI Student Voices 13




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